Holidaze and confused

Have you watched the movie "Dazed And Confused"? It'd be a lot cooler if you did.

In the next couple of weeks, we have a few changes or additions at Cueva Bar so bare with me and stay lucid.

I am changing our reservations widget from Open Table to Yelp across all the platforms where our Cueva Bar Café is featured like google places, foursquare, our website, etc. We are also looking for a new kitchen team member since chef Mel is departing after tomorrow.

Last week we promoted our late-night happy hour tapas and pintxos menu from Tuesday to Saturday but starting this week we will only stay open until 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Have you missed our musical promos and wine tastings? Me too but don't panic, they'll be back soon. Its sort of like switches from using the left side to the right side of the brain when extra challenges appear. On top of that, someone sent feedback asking that I lower the intensity of my marketing efforts and while I don't take it personal, it appears it touched a deeper part of my subconscious and it sent it into a retrospective mode. Most importantly, I welcome all feedback, good or bad, constructive or destructive, one star and five stars, bring it all! Seriously. Some of the changes and adjustments we've made at Cueva Bar Café have come from your ideas.

When it hits it hits! I admit, sometimes I just get this itch of writing music and I can't stop it, I must get it out in the way you've probably seen before, whether is with Randy tasting wine or me and my son recording a quick video and track. Ever since we quit using Facebook and Instagram I haven't had the drive to do a live performance. It's definitely an interesting dynamic. I am still playing la guitarra but no tunes have popped in my head that I can use to sing about our wines, tapas, tacos or dining experience at Cueva Bar.

Here's the latest video we put out promoting heroes and our current Pinot Noir in our wine list. Want to listen to it? Just push play, or skip onto the next section if you don't have time for it:


Speaking of wine. How much have you heard about the current state of tariffs? Do tariffs affect your work or your business? Well, here's an email we received from one of our distributors. It tells the ins and outs of what goes behind the scenes:

"To our valued customers:

I know many of you have been discussing the new tariffs that rolled out last week on European wine (mainly, Spanish and French wine) and other products.  If you haven't heard, or would like more detail, here is an article that I think gives good coverage:

U.S. slaps new tariffs on European wine, whiskey, planes and much more

The bad news: many wines are being slapped with a 25% extra import tariff (based on value), effective as of last week (10/18).

The good news: landed wine is already tax paid.

Not impacted wines over 14% alcohol are excluded wines in packaging above 2L (i.e. kegs). Sparkling wine is excluded and is not making any pricing changes at this time.

I have spent the past couple of weeks in constant communication with our winery partners trying to work out our path forward.  25% is a pretty massive blow, especially since most of our wines are competitively placed in the BTG segment.

We are happy to report that only a small number of our wines will actually be impacted.  Most of our wines fall into the "above 14%" category.  And for the ones that will ultimately be impacted - lower alcohol wines like Txakolina and Mencia - we are sitting on ample stock.  

PLAN A: Wait and see.  No one is certain how long these taxes will last.  We will hold our pricing on current/landed inventory.  

PLAN B: When 2019 vintages are released, there is a chance that this new tariff will have ended and we can proceed normally.  If not: our pricing changes will not be 25%.  Any temporary price bumps should max out at $1.00 per bottle, the rest absorbed by Company that sells lots of wine and the wineries.  Once this excessive taxation ends, pricing will revert back to historical levels.

What you can do

1) Please help us weather the storm.  The smallest producers are the most negatively impacted.  They will need your support to make it through this.   

2) Make some noise.  The more we complain about the tax, the more momentum there will be for it to end earlier than later."

And that's how the bottle cork pops my friends.

Now with all the fires going on here in California and Baja California, it seems many wineries got affected so we will have to wait and see what happens with the California wine market. Like my comrade mentions above, consume wine from those small wineries so they have a way to come back after the fire disaster is over. There are a few establishments around San Diego that carry wines from smaller wineries and that are of great quality like Hatfield Creek Vineyard in Ramona California from whom we pour their Fonzi Blend.

Do you think is starting to actually feel like Autumn? How about the last couple of chilly nights and mornings? With this weather, I decided to order some persimmons from Two Forks Farm to use in our chorizo empanadas. Have you ever had a persimmon and chorizo empanada? I have. I remember last year we used persimmons around this same time. Guess I could make it into a tradition, huh?

I've also ordered eggplants and plan to cook them into a marinara inspired sauce to make pizzas.

Well, that is all for this week's blogging. Is my wish you are having a terrific week and that you have a chance to stop by and enjoy our tapas, tacos, sangria, wine or craft beer.

Let tapas bring us together!

About the author:

I chef Oz write these blogs. I am a home cook gone pro when my wife Jo and I decided to open Cueva Bar Cafe in San Diego California. I am passionate about offering a space where people gather for a good time, and to enjoy mindfully prepared tapas, made with love and passion by our culinary team. I'm all about inclusive peace, love, mutual respect, unity, kindness, and compassion under the sun with liberty and justice for all.

Let tapas bring us together!

Cueva Bar is my approach to the concept of Tapas with an essence of Mexican cuisine, known for continuous reinvention and embracing evolution, where food is prepared in a cosy, relaxed and inclusive atmosphere without the white table cloth element, just a purely human relationship fostered by those who dine in the All Are Welcomed University Heights neighbourhood gem.

Letting the inspiration flow and keeping balance in mind, I marry Mexico’s ingredients and flavours with elements from around the U.S and the world using local - organic produce and vendors to produce both delicious and healthy dishes that have little to zero impact on our environment.

Cueva Bar in San Diego California offers a fusion tapas inspired menu with plenty of omnivores, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Our happy hour is from Tuesday to Saturday from 4 pm to 6 pm. Happy hour offerings are $2 off all food on the menu and $3 off all drinks by the glass.

The team:

Jo: Co-founder

Oz: Co-founder/Executive Chef.

Barra: Ghaidan

Kitchen: Patty, Nick


TEL 619-269-6612

2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116


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